& cplSiteName &

Apple Eyes VoLTE as 4G Voice Gets Real

Dan Jones
8/20/2014
50%
50%

Apple appears to be gearing up for high-definition voice-over-LTE (HD VoLTE) support in future mobile products

The company is currently advertising for a cellular systems protocol engineer, calling for experience with "VoLTE" and "IMS." Other positions are calling for experience with the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) protocol.

VoLTE uses SIP to initiate the 4G calls, which are transmitted in data packets, with the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) in the core network controlling the call session. There's a useful primer on how this all works here.

Apple is also looking for a senior baseband engineer to work on "cutting-edge" audio for its devices, which will include the Adaptive Multi-Rate Wideband (AMR-WB) speech compression codec, which is part of the VoLTE specification. The engineer will help to "implement, port, and deploy AMR-WB, AMR-NB, CELP, EVRC-B, EVRC, EVS Vocoders, and Jitter Buffers on Mobile devices," according to the ad.


Keep up with all the VoLTE news on our dedicated channel here on Light Reading.


The VoLTE timing could make sense for the iPhone 6, which is expected to be unveiled in September, since Apple's largest US carrier partners are launching limited service now or are expected to go live with VoLTE on their networks later this year.

"We will be launching VoLTE very soon here toward the tail end of this year," Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) CFO Fran Shammo said earlier in August. (See Verizon VoLTE Testing Spotted.)

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has VoLTE up in parts of four states in the US. (See T-Mobile Beats AT&T, Verizon to VoLTE.)

Of the four largest US carriers, only T-Mobile US Inc. has HD VoLTE available across its network. (See T-Mobile Expands VoLTE, Gets Going with 700MHz 4G.)

So far, 66 service providers spanning 35 countries have invested in VoLTE studies, trials or deployments, with 10 operators in Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and the US having actually launched an HD VoLTE service. (See VoLTE Gains Velocity: GSA.)

VoLTE specialists Mavenir Systems Inc. recently stated that there are 92 VoLTE-capable devices on the market now, some of which will require a software upgrade to use the technology. "Apple has rumored that iPhone 6 and iOS 8 might both support VoLTE," said Mavenir CEO Pardeep Kohli on an earnings call, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript. "This will be the first Apple phone to support VoLTE, and its introduction this fall is expected to further the progress of VoLTE."

Apple typically doesn't reveal new features of its devices ahead of launch.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

(7)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
9/3/2014 | 6:19:24 PM
Does 4 people really count as a line?
Supposedly people are starting to line up at the Apple store ahead of the expected iPhone 6 launch:

http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/09/03/line-forms-at-5th-ave-apple-store-6-days-ahead-of-expected-iphone-announcement
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
8/21/2014 | 6:38:28 PM
Re: LTE-Advanced & Apple
We should -- eventually -- be back to 90s landline standards and perhaps better with HD-LTE on AMR-WB! It's available on some devices on T-Mobile-to-T-Mobile calls now and what I've heard of the quality is really good.

Going to be interesting to see how it works between carrier networks though -- eventually!
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/21/2014 | 4:39:22 PM
Re: LTE-Advanced & Apple
Voice quality on mobile phone calls are in need of an upgrade. I believe that carriers have been laser-focused on keeping up with data demand, to the comic detriment of voice quality.

It's good to see that this is now going to change. 
billsblots
50%
50%
billsblots,
User Rank: Moderator
8/21/2014 | 4:12:18 PM
Re: LTE-Advanced & Apple
When I clicked "comment" I didn't see a box to type in, so I'll use reply.

Here in Richmond, VA, downtown, the Verizon LTE throughput is horribly bad, normally less than 1 MBps and can never stream any video, and frequently even an audio stream is tough to get started.  As a daily ritual I disable "LTE" on my Verizon devices when I come to work so at least they can chug along a little better in 3G.  Great advertising slogan, "Verizon Wireless, where our 3G is better than our 4G".

I must say outside of the downtown area the VZW LTE is quite a bit better, but nowhere what I've seen in Orange County, CA, and other major metro areas.

So I can imagine trying to pour voice over the same bandwidths and network that is already choked so badly in this area.  Cell phone audio quality is typically bad compared to the very high product we had achieved on land line phones by the 90s, where there was rarely even any pinging, echo, or noticeable delay in trans-Atlantic calls.  But that is the price we pay for mobility and convenience.  But think of this, there are teenagers running around who have never used a landline phone because it was discontinued at home in 2000 and think that all telephone voice service has always been crappy!
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
8/21/2014 | 9:53:25 AM
Re: LTE-Advanced & Apple
You mean LTE-A or VoLTE is for 2015+? Or both?
Gabriel Brown
50%
50%
Gabriel Brown,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/21/2014 | 8:41:32 AM
Re: LTE-Advanced & Apple
 

"This is most likley for the 2015+"

Agreed. Many Euro operators plan to have launched VoLTE by next summer so that *if* the 2015 iPhone suports it, they'll be ready. That's the basic timeline that nearly everyone is working on. This driving a lot of activity because of the fear you'll get left behind and out-marketed by competitors.

The voice-over-WiFi capability supposedly coming in this year's iPhone is viewed as a pre-cursor to VoLTE.
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
8/20/2014 | 5:41:37 PM
LTE-Advanced & Apple
Interestingly I couldn't find any mention of LTE-Advanced in the job ads. Not even hidden as the E-UTRA air inteference.

 

 
From The Founder
Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: Let's Get Past SD-WAN Hype

6|23|17   |   04:02   |   (0) comments


Technology becomes a "shiny object" unless it's properly focused on solving business needs for enterprise customers, says Bill Grubbs, network solutions architect for CenturyLink. He explains to Light Reading why SD-WAN deployments have to be tailored to specific needs – and more.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Infinera's Sales Director Paints Tech's Big Picture

6|21|17   |   4:14   |   (1) comment


Shannon Williams, Infinera's director of sales, shares how she achieves work's many balancing acts -- between her role and the broader company, today and tomorrow's tech and more.
LRTV Custom TV
SD-WAN Innovation & Trends

6|20|17   |     |   (0) comments


Versa CEO Kelly Ahuja discusses with Carol Wilson the current status and trends in the SD-WAN market, Versa's innovation around building a software platform with broad contextualization, and the advantages that startups can bring to the SD-WAN market.
LRTV Interviews
Ovum's Dario Talmesio on 5G in Europe

6|20|17   |   02:16   |   (0) comments


At 5G World 2017, Dario Talmesio, principal analyst and practice leader on Ovum's fixed and mobile telecoms European team, explains the emerging trends amongst European operators as they prepare for 5G.
LRTV Custom TV
Putting Power on a Pedestal

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


ARRIS's John Ulm says a major accomplishment of SCTE•ISBE's Energy 2020 program is increased focus on power cost and consumption, including inclusion of energy requirements in operators' RFPs and RFIs.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit Access: The Last-Mile Pipe for All Future Services

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


A Gigabit access platform being deployed today must be able to deliver all types of services to an increasing number of devices. A non-blocking architecture is necessary to support the ever-increasing growth in bandwidth demand. The Huawei Gigabit access solution is based on a distributed design that is fully scalable to deliver a unprecedented performance.
LRTV Custom TV
Key Factors to Successfully Deploy an SD-WAN Service

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


As service providers transition their SD-WAN solution from trials and limited deployments into production at large scale, there are important considerations to successfully operationalize these solutions and realize their full potential, without adding complexity, introducing uncertainty or disrupting current business operations. Sunil Khandekar, CEO and Founder ...
LRTV Custom TV
IoT Solutions: Rational Exuberance

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


IoT solutions are morphing from hype into viable business opportunities. Huawei has the platform and ecosystem support to help carriers successfully address new business opportunities in the IoT space.
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing ICN as a Network Slice for Mobile Data Distribution

6|19|17   |     |   (1) comment


Network slicing in 5G allows the potential introduction of new network architectures such as Information-centric Networks (ICN) as a slice, managed over a shared pool of compute, storage and bandwidth resource. Services over an ICN slice can benefit from many architectural features such as Name Based Networking, Security, Multicasting, Multi-homing, Mobility, ...
LRTV Interviews
Ovum's Mike Roberts on 5G Uptake

6|19|17   |   04:08   |   (0) comments


Mike Roberts, research director for Ovum's service provider markets group, explains why he has boosted his 5G subscriptions forecast.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T's Hubbard on Intersection of SD-WAN & MPLS

6|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Rick Hubbard, SVP of Network Product Management for AT&T Business Solutions, discusses how AT&T's approach to SD-WAN fits in with its overall virtualization strategy, explains how SD-WAN can improve enterprise customers' use of the cloud and addresses the intersection of SD-WAN and MPLS.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Keep Connected IoT Devices Under Control With Allot

6|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Allot AVP of International Pre-Sales, Daniel Keidar, explains how communications service providers can protect infrastructure and service availability from flooding attacks caused by malfunctioning or bot-infected devices connected to their network.
Upcoming Live Events
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Netflix's Lesson in Culture Expectation Settings
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 6/21/2017
Kalanick Steps Down as Uber CEO
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 6/21/2017
BT Tech Chief Makes Plea to 5G Chip Vendors
Ray Le Maistre, International Group Editor, 6/20/2017
No Imagination: UK Chip Biz Goes Up for Sale
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/22/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.